Congressman Sean Maloney

Representing the 18th District of New York

Office Locations

House Passes Maloney’s Bill to Close CIA Benefits Loophole, Named in Honor of Fallen CIA Officer Gregg Wenzel

Jul 17, 2019
Press Release

House Passes Maloney’s Bill to Close CIA Benefits Loophole, Named in Honor of Fallen CIA Officer Gregg Wenzel
Gregg Wenzel of Monroe, NY lost his life in Ethiopia while serving in the CIA

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney’s (NY-18) bill, the Gregg Wenzel Clandestine Heroes Parity Act, as part of the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2019. The bill will broaden death benefits to Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officers who die while serving America overseas and is named in honor of Gregg David Wenzel, from Monroe, who lost his life in Ethiopia while serving in the CIA.

“The brave men and women in the clandestine services put their lives on the line for our freedoms and – because of the nature of their work - rarely get the recognition they deserve. This bill honors Gregg Wenzel, a true Hudson Valley hero, and ensures that the families of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice get the benefits their loved ones earned,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney.

“My son dedicated his life to keeping our country safe. CIA officers may not get the acknowledgment they deserve, but their sacrifice does not go unnoticed. I’m thankful to Rep. Maloney for honoring Gregg’s memory through this bill, and know families like ours appreciate the work he’s doing to honor the fallen through this bill,” said Mitchell Wenzel, father of Gregg Wenzel.

The Gregg Wenzel Clandestine Heroes Parity Act, originally introduced July of 2017 for the 115th Congress, will broaden death benefits for clandestine officers killed while serving overseas, expanding the benefits to include officers who die without leaving dependents or not killed in an act of terrorism.

Gregg Wenzel graduated from Monroe-Woodbury High School in Orange County. He earned his undergraduate degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton and then went on to graduate from the Miami School of Law and worked as a public defender. After the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, Gregg joined the CIA. He served as a case officer in the Directorate of Operations in the Horn of Africa. On July 9, 2003, Gregg Wenzel was killed in an automobile accident in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He was 33 years old.

In May of 2013, legislation to rename a post office in the Town of Monroe in honor of Gregg Wenzel’s service was introduced by Rep. Maloney and signed into law by President Barack Obama in December, 2014. Gregg was the first CIA officer in America to be remembered by this distinction. Gregg also received a star on the CIA Memorial Wall in 2009.

Rep. Maloney’s office is open and ready to serve those who served our country. Veterans and retired government workers who need assistance in cutting through government red tape should call his Newburgh office: 845-561-1259 or visit his website: seanmaloney.house.gov/services/help-with-a-federal-agency.

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